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Your time, talent and treasure is multiplied when you work with others in the spirit of Bayanihan. Build hope on ground and be an active part of this nation’s journey out of poverty.

The final leg of #BayaniChallenge 2016 held in Metro Manila was participated by thousands of volunteers from Globe, Singtel (Singapore), Optus (Australia), Convergys Alabang, 24/7 Makati, GK Mabuhay, GK employees, GK residents, youth leaders, and individual volunteers. Here are the highlights of the 4-day event.

"You bring home not the image of trash but the image of a solution. What is our long term solution na kakalingain natin 'yung kalikasan?" said Gawad Kalinga Executive Director Jose Luis Oquiñena during the opening ceremonies of Bayani Challenge 2016: Metro Manila at Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) on June 8-11, 2016.

Oquiñena emphasized that Gawad Kalinga today, is not just helping people in the communities by building homes but rather actively participating in nation-building through cleanup activities.

"This whole experience should bring everyone to look beyond the horizon. It should disturb us to look for lasting solutions. That solution begins with you," Oquiñena also added.

#BayaniChallenge 2016 Unity Dance

"Pino-promote ko talaga ang Bayani Challenge sa aking mga estudyante kaya kada taon ay may kasama akong ibang grupo. Natutuwa ako dahil nadadagdagan na 'yung lahi ng mga bayani. Dumarami na! Ang pangarap ng Gawad Kalinga ay dumami pa sila nang dumami sa buong Pilipinas."

- Sir Magi, volunteer

Ten teams of Nanays unleashed their kitchen skills through a cooking competition called Master Kusinero. Kapitbahayans were required to make a dish using tilapia as the main ingredient. Special prizes were given away by Century Pacific.

GK Manggahan Kawayanan with their special dish “tilapia with black beans and tokwa” was hailed winner of the Master Kusinero 2016.

Photos by Anthony Adduru, GK worker

Building colorful lives. Volunteers also visited GK villages in Muntinlupa City to conduct Kalinga sa Bayan activities: river cleanup, house build and painting.

Photos by Tracy Cruz, GK worker

“This experience taught me how to be grateful for everything that I have. And I’m so thankful that Singtel gave me this fabulous chance to teach the kids some basic learning, also the building of houses and painting as well. It’s very much a great opportunity to experience those activities. Though it’s kind of tiring but it’s a good tired for me.”

Michelle, volunteer (Singtel)

“This is my first time to join the GK Bayani Challenge and my most favorite activity would be the youth program, doing the games with the kids, and teaching them a little bit about Australia and Singapore. Just seeing the excitement and the happiness on their faces actually left me quite emotional and it’s very touching. It’s gonna be really hard to leave. #BayaniChallenge in one word is touching! I’m gonna go back to Australia and be thinking about what I can do to come on another challenge or contribute to GK and spread the word back home.

Xavia, volunteer (Optus)

Photos by Tracy Cruz, GK worker

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